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Some of the more caring employers in Hong Kong such as HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, Microsoft and Hong Kong Broadband Network have gone way beyond the requirements of the labour law by offering employees family-friendly leave.
But for many employees, taking a sick day or applying for annual leave can be a “mission impossible”, as shared in a post on Hong Kong Discussion Group.
The terms and conditions of taking leave are so complicated, employees think they’re applying for a Groupon deal.
A netizen shared his company does not allow employees to apply for more than three consecutive days of annual leave, and they are also not allowed to apply for leave on or before Saturdays and Sundays.
Sick leave or annual leave?
A respondent to the post shared that his company offers 12 days of annual leave which is above the requirement of the labour law, but there is a problem – employees’ sick days will be deducted from their annual leave allowance.
No work, no money
Another reader of the post shared his company offers no salary on the day employees call in sick. To make things more complicated, the company deducts the salary of any employee who takes three or less consecutive sick days, but if a colleague is really sick and needs to takes four or more consecutive sick days off, the employer pays 80% of the salary.
Is the boss encouraging employees to take more sick days? Under these circumstances, employees might as well take four days off even it is just a little cold.
Forced to take leave
A respondent of the post wrote his company offers seven days of annual leave as required by the labour law, but forces everyone to take them during Chinese New Year.
Besides making it difficult for employees to take leave, some local employers also have all sorts of tactics to penalise late comers, with salary deduction being one of the most popular choices.
A respondent to the post wrote his employer deducts salary according to the number of minutes employees show up late. If an employee is one minute late, 15 minutes of his or her hourly wage will be deducted. Employees who come in 16 minutes late will have 30 minutes deducted, and so on and so forth.
More on salary deduction, a netizen wrote his employer deducts 1% of bonus every time an employee shows up late. If an employee shows up late 12 times or more in a year, 5% of his bonus will be deducted and the company will issue an warning letter. Three warning letters and the employee is fired.
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